Stem cells improve heart pumping


November 18, 2005|By KNIGHT RIDDER/TRIBUNE

Heart attack patients who were treated with their own stem cells a few days after being hospitalized had significantly improved heart pumping ability, according to the largest, most rigorous clinical trial to date of the controversial therapy.

The improvement seen with stem cells was better than with the best drugs available and it appears the therapy repaired damage done during heart attacks, said lead author Volker Schachinger, a cardiologist at J.W. Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany.

Other cardiologists not associated with the study said although the findings are promising, more research involving a large number of patients needs to be done.

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